Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rail Freight Interchange Row Wheezes on Down the Track

Controversy Over Old Airport Development Sees Yet Another Court Battle
Shipping News Feature

UK – St Albans City and District Council’s protestations against the planned Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) at the site of the former aerodrome on Park Street near St Albans, trundles along with the Council lodging a formal complaint in the High Court challenging the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles’ decision to grant planning permission to developers Helioslough for the rail freight terminal.

The latest claim concerns the legality of the Secretary of State’s decision on 14 July 2014 to allow an appeal brought by Helioslough, part of the London headquartered Segro industrial property group. Helioslough’s appeal concerned the Council’s refusal of planning permission for a strategic rail freight interchange on the former Radlett aerodrome site. Cllr Julian Daly, the Council’s Leader and Portfolio Holder for Planning and Conservation said:

“The Council considers that the proposed rail freight interchange at this site will be harmful to the District’s Green Belt. We believe that the Secretary of State’s recent decision to grant planning permission is flawed legally. We are therefore taking action to challenge the decision in the High Court.”

The Council is challenging the decision on three points of law: the first is concerned with the legality of the Secretary of State’s approach in taking his decision, the second relates to the misapplication of wording in the National Planning Policy Framework, a document that sets out planning policy nationally, and the third ground for challenge relates to procedural irregularity and inconsistency on the rail freight interchange decision. This last objection follows the Secretary of State’s recent refusal of planning permission for a waste incinerator plant, also on Green Belt land, at nearby New Barnfield, in Hatfield.

To view how this proposed development has lingered on simply type a suitable keyword (Radlett – St Albans – Helioslough etc.) into the News Search Box.

Photo: Glories past. The Handley Page facility at Radlett once hosted the cream of British aerospace technology like these Victor strategic bombers.